Day 26 - Cairnbaan to Eilian Dubh

May 14, 2013
That has to rank as one of the most enjoyable days on the water I've had. It started well with a full Scottish breakfast, and I have to say I think there's only been a couple of days without haggis so far in Scotland. I got back onto the Crinan and within an hour was back onto salty water being gently pushed out on the tide. The tides were a little awkward today, with the pushing tide not arriving until mid afternoon, this left me with a number of possible route choices, and also meant hugging islands and the coastline.

I paddled up here years ago, but I don't remember it being this beautiful. The scenery is absolutely stunning, helped in some measure by the sunshine, there's so much to look at the miles flew by today, I actually had to force myself to stop in the end.

The wildlife's been amazing. I've decided dolphins are so last season now as I've seen so many of them, my new favourite friends are the sea otters, as I've never seen any before, and loads of puffins, and seals. 

I paddled past Oban and got a slight shock when a Calmac ferry appeared over my shoulder, I really must learn to take my headphones out around shipping lanes! I landed on Eilian Dubh, where I've set up camp ready to catch the flood tide in the morning. I was really looking forwards to Scotland, and up until now it's been really hard work, but today confirmed why I was looking forwards to it. Top day out. 
 

Day 25 Weatherbound Cairnbaan

May 13, 2013
So, going nowhere today. The winds are belting again, and with a forecast of snow! I've decided to stay here until tomorrow. I've taken a walk down into the local town to restock up on a few bits which should hopefully see me through until the end of the trip. 




Up until now I've been dealing with days, and ignoring the bigger picture stuff, as it really helps me avoid getting overwhelmed by the enormity of it. Today's the first day I've looked at the track to see where I've been, as I'm close ...

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Day 24 Fallen Rocks to Cairnbaan

May 13, 2013
After a good nights sleep I left early to try and catch a brief window of favourable wind. The weather has become absolutely everything in Scotland, I've been getting my forecasts via VHF as the mobile signal is weak, and at some point in every forecast for the last four days there has been a severe gale 9 occuring at sometime. I'm finding it a bit like playing chicken in deciding whether to go or not, as there are periods of relative calm, like this morning, before it unleashes again. You've...

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Day 23 - Kildonnan to Fallen Rocks

May 12, 2013
So, the day started with me thinking that someone had decided to jetwash the tent. The rain was being pelted at it by the promised gale force winds. Somewhere the rain had found its way in, so the day had a decidely damp start. I packed away all the gear with the rain still lashing down, and headed round the SE tip of the island.

As soon as I rounded the corner it became apparent that the promised Westerly winds had in fact got North in them, any wind with North in when you're headed that way ...

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Day 22 Port Patrick to Kildonan (Arran)

May 12, 2013
So after a weatherbound day yesterday, conditions this morning looked significantly better. There was a bit of breeze but nothing like the gales of the last two days. The fotrecast is due to worsen tomorrow, so I decided to get as far up the Firth of Clyde as I could.

The remainder of my journey up the North Channel was straight forwards, as the ex harbourmaster from Portpatrick had shown me where all the eddies and tidal lifts occurred. The ferries crossing to N Ireland, were the next problem...

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Day 21 Weather bound in Portpatrick

May 9, 2013


Sod that! Another night in Portpatrick for me. Gusting 40mph, going to wait till it drops to a more manageable 20 mph tomorrow.



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Day 20 - Port Logan to Port Patrick

May 8, 2013
Welcome to Scotland. I knew I was in Scotland this morning, as I was woken by the hammering of rain on the tent. The winds that had made me leave the Island had arrived, but based on the fact I was going downwind again, and Port Logan, although pretty, wasn't really a venue to spend a few days. I left about 11 heading up the coast.



As I was paddling the winds were getting stronger and stronger, but with no significant groundswell manageable. Then the four horsemen of the apocalypse arrived fro...
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Day 19 - Port St Mary to Port Logan

May 8, 2013
After the long day yesterday I thought I'd take it easy today and saunter up the West coast, having a pleasant day out. Conditions were perfect, light winds, sunshine, good tide times, so I left my campsite around 0900 and headed West. 

I was right at the end of the tide when I paddled through the Calf of Man sound, but it was still shifting quite quickly, it must be great fun in there when it's in full flow. I don't know what I expected from the Isle of Man, but I was astounded by how good th...

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Day 18 - Porth Eilian to Port St Mary

May 8, 2013
I left Anglesey this morning heading out for the Isle of Man. Having had a couple of rest days felt ready for the crossing, and conditions seemed to be ok. The forecast had changed so many times I decided that having a look in the morning and seeing if I thought it was alright, was probably the best option. 



There's not much I can tell you about the crossing, it was long, it started off windy but that subsided through the day, there was around four hours where I couldn't see land at all, bar t...

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Day 17 - Penmon to Porth Eilian

May 5, 2013
So, the weather has seemed to have settled on the right side of a force four, which means that I'm going for the Isle of Man tomorrow. The crossing is long enough without starting further south, so today I headed to the North Coast to get a better start point.



The crosing from Penmon to the point was pretty hairy, with a strong Southwesterly wind blowing I had waves breaking over me for the first time this trip. The 12miles took just over 3 hours, and I arrived at the normally empty cove of P...
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About Me


Glyn  Brackenbury Been paddling for 30 years mostly as a surf and whitewater boater. Living on the N coast of Devon and growing upon Anglesey has meant that the sea has never been more than a couple of miles away.
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